Loose Change

Loose Change

10 things to do with your pennies

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(photo credit: Dans le Townhouse)

Happy Birthday President Lincoln! Did you know that he became the face of the penny in 1909? Since then, there’s been so many sayings attached to the pretty penny including “A penny saved is a penny earned” to “In for a penny, in for a pound.”

Honestly speaking, I actually have a penny-phobia. I’ve seen so many of them that are dirty it makes me wonder what sort of history it has (and not in the pleasant way).  However, when I get a new cent in my hand, it makes me smile because it’s so beautiful.

Loose Change

Is TLC’s ‘Extreme Cheapskates’, a little too extreme?

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A few days ago, I had a little down time in the evening and came across Extreme Cheapskates on TLC.  At first, I was curious to find out why these individuals would identify themselves as a “cheapskate” but I was also interested in knowing their lifestyle.  I definitely have my cheap *ahem* frugal moments but I wouldn’t consider myself a cheapskate.

The first episode I watched was a day in the life Kate Hashimoto, a CPA by day and a dumpster diving connoisseur by night. Here are some of the things she does to live a cheap lifestyle:

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Behind The Scenes: Employee Spotlight with Allegra

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This week, we’re rolling out a new part of our “Behind the Scenes” look at the company, where we spotlight different employees in our company. While some of these people are more visible on our site (such as myself), the deals on our site don’t just find themselves, and we have lots of help making sure our site stays current. We pride ourselves on having an incredible group of people working here at Savings and the drive and dedication they have to their job. First up in our series is Allegra Ringo. If her name looks familiar, it’s likely because you’ve talked to her over in our Community! She currently serves as Community Manager for Savings.com, where she gets to interact with our favorite members on a daily basis.

Allegra took a moment from her busy day to put down the cubicle wall separating us (only kidding, we don’t actually have cubicles in the office) and chat with us.

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Saving for Graduation Season

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Trees are starting to bloom, the air has a scent of fresh cut lawns, and the weather is finally warm enough to go outside without wearing your winter parka. You know what that means. Graduation season is just around the corner!

With over three million students graduating from high school this year and over two million graduating from colleges, universities and grad schools, there will be a lot of celebrating going on this Spring. Chances are you are going to have at least one graduation party to attend and possibly one to host.

Giving a gift to a graduate or hosting a party can be a wonderful feeling. You know you are celebrating one of the most important milestones in your loved one’s life. Whether you are the host or an attendee, here are some great ideas about how to celebrate without breaking the bank.

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The Tech-pert: Give That Old Laptop a New Lease on Life

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So you’ve finally decided to cut bait on your old laptop. You’re tired of waiting 10 minutes for Windows to boot, tired of programs that take forever to load, and tired of viruses and spyware gumming up the works.

In other words, it’s time for a new machine. And for around $500 (less if you’re willing to buy a refurbished or closeout model), you can get yourself something mighty nice.

But what about the old laptop? What should be its fate? You probably can’t sell it for much, and in its current condition, it’s not much good as a hand-me-down.

Know what I’d do? Wipe the hard drive (after retrieving all your data from it, of course) and install Linux. That may sound like a techie, nerds-only solution, but hear me out. The whole process is easier than you might think, and it results in a laptop that feels brand new—maybe even better than new.

Loose Change

4 Easy Things To Make With Apples

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One of the reasons that apples are so popular and prevalent in our society is their versatility. Apples make great desserts, delicious drinks, and interesting additions to everything from salads to entrees. You can even use apples for decoration. In celebration of the apple, below are just a few interesting things to do with Johnny Appleseed’s heritage.

  1. Applesauce. Sure, you could go for store brands, but why when making your own is so easy?
    • Peel and core your apples, then slice them into small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the faster they’ll cook.
    • Place the sliced apples in a heavy pan over low heat and cover. You’ll want to stir quite a bit until the apples start breaking down.
    • That’s it! If you want to add your own seasoning — cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, etc. — you can, but plain fresh applesauce is delicious on its own.
  1. Baked apples. A healthy treat that smells great while cooking and tastes even better, these are well worth the moderate amount of effort involved.
    • Horizontally slice the top and bottom of each apple and remove the core.
    • Stuff the empty space where the core used to be with whatever sweet deliciousness sounds good — chopped nuts, dried fruit, oats, cinnamon, honey, maple syrup — then put a dab of butter on the top of each apple.
    • Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until soft.
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Wacky Product of the Week: Worst Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and as one of the world’s least loved holidays, I think it’s high time we created a list of some of the worst gifts you could possibly give or receive. It’s not too hard to find these, sadly, and I’m sure many a recipient has received them or something like them.

First up, there’s no faster way to a woman’s heart than letting her know she’s sporting a double-chin with the Neck Genie Neck Line Slimmer.

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Herding Cats – The iPad 3, Amazon Goes Retail, & Saving on Valentine’s Day

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This week we have Pepsi’s problems, iPad rumors, Amazon opening a store, mortgage news, saving on Valentine’s Day meals, and ways to buy in bulk.

Plus, two cubs playing.

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Herding Cats: The Super Bowl, Facebook IPO, & How To Waste Money

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Image courtesy of ICanHasCheezburger

This week we have the Komen controversy, big money at the Super Bowl, ways to waste money, the Facebook IPO, and stashing cash.

Plus, purring cats.

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How To: Be an Eco-Tourist

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Is eco-tourism just a buzz word from the first decade in the 21st century?  Whenever I hear “eco-tourism” I think of fancy tents in Africa where someone else does all the hard work of typical camping and lots of wild animals a safe distance away but close enough to feel scared.  What is eco-tourism shaping up to be in the new decade? 

Loose Change

Herding Cats – GDP News, Apple’s Manufacturing Problems, and a Brave Cat

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Image courtesy of ICanHasCheezburger

This week we have good GDP news, Xbox rumors, Apple’s manufacturing problems, resisting impulse buying, and ways to make a smart kid. 

Plus, a very brave cat.

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The Tech-pert: What are Ultrabooks and Why Should You Care

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What’s the biggest buzzword at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show? No, it’s not “Beiber.” It’s ultrabooks. Three guesses what they are:

1. Regular books, only super-better.

2. Kindle-style e-book readers plated with shiny titanium.

3. Super-thin, super-light laptops that used to be known as “ultraportables,” “ultralights,” and “subnotebooks.”

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Wacky Product of the Week: Angry Birds Speakers

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The war clearly isn’t over. These angry birds will stop at nothing to destroy those oinkers! And now, if you’re willing and ready (or even if you aren’t), these little guys are here to amplify your music too. These plug and play Angry Birds Speakers from ThinkGeek are not exactly priced to move at $65+, but oh man, they are tons of epic awesome.

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Mommy Must-Haves: 4 Alternatives to Your Morning Routine

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How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?  Do you even have time to get ready?  I don’t- my job begins well before sunrise and soon after I’m awake, my 2-year old is begging for food and attention. 

Once I have my younger one comfortable, then it’s the task of waking up my 5-year old, who is already showing at this young age, that she’s not a morning person. 

After I’m done getting both my kids ready (which is a marathon in itself), I’m usually rushing out the door dressed in sweats without washing my face or brushing my teeth.  Sound familiar?

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Hoarding 101: The Benefits of Decluttering Your House

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I read somewhere that someone’s New Years resolution was to “get rid of something they don’t need every day.” That sure beats the “I want to lose 8747 pounds,” or “I want to win American Idol,” that I normally see on blogs this time of year. I like setting myself up for failure by placing unrealistic expectations on myself as much as the next guy, so I decided that I was gonna do it. No, not win American Idol (I’m too old), but try to get rid of one thing every day for a whole year.

 

Why would I agree (in my head) to do such a ridiculous thing?

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